I admit to being as excited as a little kid about going to Govindas Restaurant to attend a cooking lesson with Kurma Das today. In many ways, he taught me to cook as I my early culinary experiences began in a vegetarian household. Kurma was a pioneer for vegetarian cooking in Australia in many ways - exploring different cuisines, techniques and combinations to develop delectable dishes that satisfied vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. He has done a number of cookbooks, taught more than 3000 cooking classes, and a 26-part cooking series (screened on SBS). His teaching style is informative, easy to follow, amusing and every dish and ingredient used has a story. His classes are interactive, fast paced and you come away with lots of new tricks.
In a few hours a number of remarkable dishes were prepared, cooked in large pots with spoons the size of oars, by a group of enthusiastic participants that are finally relieved of their curiosity by being able to finally stop and dine on a magnificent feast.
Here are a few shots of the work in progress - unfortunately being kept well-occupied in food preparation meant I was not going to be that 'snap happy-blogger type' and some when we sat down to dine. I've reproduced today's menu for you to salivate over below!
It was such a delight to have Kurma open my beloved copy of his "Great Vegetarian Dishes" cookbook to sign and noticing that it was a first edition printed 21 years ago. It has travelled wherever I have gone and it has been a constant friend whenever I have had vegetarian guests or just don't feel like eating meat. Just quietly, the eggplant pickles were to die for!! Definitely doing a batch of that up next weekend!
Vegetarian World Food Menu
Fragrant South Indian Hot & Sour Toor Dal Soup (Rasam)
Seared Chilli Panir Steaks served with Sweet Potato Mash & Rocket Salad
BBQ Asparagus served with Balsamic-scented Semi-dried Tomato & Macadmia Pesto with Grano Padano
Iranian (Pulao) Spicy Saffron Rice
Stir-fry Oven Roasted Cauliflowers with Snowpeas & Cashews served with Puffed Fried Wheat Bread (Puris)
Hot, Sweet & Sour Eggplant pickles
Anise-scented Doughnuts in a Fresh Berry-studded Yoghurt (Malopoura)